The product-service systems for a circular economy

The product-service systems for a circular economy

“What if we didn’t buy the goods themselves, but the service they provide?” How product-service systems are helping to build a circular economy and make waste a thing of the past.

We’re producing more waste, using more resources and finding it harder to exploit raw materials than ever before. That’s why we need to develop alternatives to our consumer society—by repairing instead of throwing away, and renting instead of buying. The product-service system is one of these solutions: instead of buying goods, we pay to use them; instead of buying a product, we buy the service, while the manufacturer remains the owner of the product. Let’s take the example of a washing machine: costly, bulky and noisy, its main value lies in the benefits that come from using it (keeping our clothes clean, for example) rather than from owning it. So why not rent it and benefit from a package of additional services?

How does it work? The Ellen MacArthur Foundation explains more:

“The circular economy: from consumer to user” by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Thanks to the product-service system, we will all have access to sustainable, better-quality products because we won’t need to buy them anymore. Car sharing gives us access to “green” transportation without having to invest in an electric vehicle or bear its associated costs, for example. “Better service at a better price.”
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